Wednesday 28 April 2021 6:56 am

Lotus to invest £2bn in switch to electric and revamp of UK plant

Sports car maker Lotus will build electric vehicles in the UK as part of a £2bn investment push aimed at massively increasing its production capacity.

The Hethel-based firm yesterday announced that it would switch to selling only electric cars by 2028. Its last combustion engine car, the Emira, will launch this summer.

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As part of the investment, the Telegraph reported that the firm would hire an extra 250 staff at its plant in Hethel, which currently has a workforce of 1,500.

Over a ten year revamp, the firm expects to triple the site’s production capacity, it added.

Overall, it expects to up production from around 1,400 vehicles last year to tens of thousands in the future.

Managing director Matt Windle said: “This really is a new era for us. Not only will it be accessible in terms of price point, but our quality is going to take a huge leap forward as well.”

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In addition, the firm, which is owned by Chinese auto giant Geely, will build a new factory in Wuhan.

The British marque, which was founded in 1948, is the latest in a line of carmakers to announce plans to transition away from traditional petrol and diesel powered cars over the coming years.

The UK government has announced that the sale of new vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine will be banned by 2030.

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Windle said Lotus aims to be all electric by 2028 – when the carmaker turns 80 – though the exact date may depend on the Emira’s popularity.

“But definitely before the end of the decade, we’ll be fully electric,” Windle said.